I saw an article last week in a popular trade publication titled “Covid’s Impact on Outsourcing: Good for Demand, Bad for Execution”. This piece reported, similar to what we have been hearing, that there have been many serious disruptions to firms’ outsourced services during this pandemic….across the wealth management industry.
Contrary to this trend, the Vestmark Outsourced Services team – which is 100% onshore – has been able to seamlessly support our clients while the team has been working from home. The Vestmark Outsourced Services team has been focused and dedicated to ensuring that working from home does not impact our level of service – and it has not. Even with trading volumes increasing 5x, with daily recon and account admin requests increasing 2x, the team has remained organized, collaborative, and responsive.
Vestmark is considered an essential business, but for the health and safety of our employees and their families, we did implement our business continuity plans to enable teams across the firm to work from home. Our Outsourced Services team started working remotely the first week of March. Starting early, and well before most of our clients and partners, allowed us to ensure that our team was fully functional in remote mode, and that we had an opportunity to address any technology issues before working from home became the norm or a necessity.
With this change, our outsourcing clients have not experienced any interruption, disruption, or degradation in service or execution. Client feedback has been that they have not seen any impact in service and are impressed with the team’s ability to remain attentive and engaged while working remotely. At the same time, many of our clients have seen our team go above and beyond to make sure business continues to be processed, accounts are reconciled and ready to trade at market open, trades are able to be executed prior to market close, and all client needs are met.
We have heard that many firms who use offshore resources have been severely impacted when India mandated a shut down for 3 weeks. One of the key reasons Vestmark does not offshore any of our services is to avoid a situation like that in a jurisdiction where we have virtually no control or influence. We also had a handful of tech-only clients for whom offshore operations shut-downs have caused major challenges. For these clients, not part of our usual workload, our outsourcing team was able to temporarily take over operational workflows and/or step in and help train teams at our clients to quickly assume the work that had been taking place offshore.
While the last several weeks have been challenging for everyone, I can say with pride that my Vestmark colleagues – even while navigating remote work, juggling work and home-school activities for kids, figuring out how to get groceries delivered, and everything else that has come with surviving this new paradigm – have risen to the occasion and really showed our clients how committed we are to their success.
By Ryan Carter, SVP, Business Process Outsourcing